And I don't mean speed limit. Today (at 11:20 am) I become officially 'over 50'. Not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, thanks to genetics, few people think I'm close to 50, let alone seeing it in my rearview mirror, but I definitely feel like I've earned those years and the few white strands in my hair (a friend once described white hairs as being earned in all those sleepless nights in the moonlight as we worried about our children). I glance out the window at the lush green morning while writing this & see our neighbor striding up her steep driveway with the morning paper; I'm always amazed because she's got to be in her late 50s and has more energy than Linda & me combined!
In these economic times, I know the reality is that many people will work 'till they drop, so it's not like 'over 50' necessarily hints of retirement in the foreseeable future anymore, especially since I've not worked anywhere that has allowed me a retirement plan. Physically, I'm no different than I was last night (except Lola let us sleep in until 7:30 this morning so I'm less tired!). Healthy diet--which I've been doing pretty well on--and exercise--ummm, not so much--are the keys to feeling stronger & more energetic as my neighbor proves, so not feeling fabulous has no excuse I can lay on a number. I'm no wiser than last night, still not willing to even consider that 'Crone' concept (and I've already expressed my disdain for the so-called 'Queen' archetype).
So what does 'over 50' mean? It means I'm reminded to appreciate each day, savor the sweetness and not fight all the bitterness. It means I've lived long enough to know when to say "this too shall pass". It means I have no excuse for not giving thanks every single day for the blessings I've been granted (like the rain-jewelled, peony-perfumed morning outside the window and breakfast with my beloved). I read about Charlotte Rogan who is several years older than I am, celebrating the publication of her critically acclaimed debut novel, and Tamae Watanabe, the oldest womon to summit Everest. Both remind me in neon lights that it's not 'too late' to follow dreams and passions. It pleases me that my Flamekeeping shift is falling on my birthday, so tonight's flame for Brigid will burn in gratitude and renewal, with a dash of determination to make a little more of the times ahead.
And it means that I've earned ice cream with a single candle to blow out tonight! My wish is.....